Poker equipment

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The following is a list of equipment used for a game of poker:

  • Cards: Standard playing cards are used. In home games it is common to have two decks with distinct backs, and to shuffle the unused deck while each hand is in progress. Casinos typically change decks every few hours, to limit the wear of the cards. It is not unusual for paper cards to become bent quickly, as players often read their "hole" cards by peeking at the corner rather than lifting the card. Card quality can be preserved for longer if players agree not to bend cards, and proper shuffling techniques are used.
  • Poker chips: Currency is difficult to stack or handle, so most poker games are played with chips, or coin-shaped tokens of uniform size and weight, usually 39mm wide and anywhere from 5 to 16 grams in weight, whose money value is determined by their color. Traditionally, poker chips were made of bone; however, modern casino chips are often made of clay. Clay chips are considered the most upscale variety of poker chip. Another high-end variety of chips are ceramic chips, ceramic chips that can be customized easily cost around $1 per chip. Plastic chips are also available, at a wide variety of quality levels.
  • Poker table: A typical poker game will have between two and ten players. A padded table top is preferred to facilitate picking up chips and cards.
  • Lammers: Lammers are plastic, chip-shaped tokens with text written on them. Most commonly used is a dealer button with either the word "DEALER" or a "D" written on it; this item (also known as the buck) indicates who shall deal next. In a casino setting, lammers are also used to indicate which variant is being used, whose turn it is to pay the blind etc.., and lammers are also a name for "chips" awarded in satellite tournaments as buy-in chips to larger tournaments.
  • Cut card (or postilion): This is a thick plastic card, the same size and shape of a playing card. The dealer will place the deck upon this card before dealing, in order to prevent the accidental exposure of the bottom card of the deck. While rarely used in home games, the cut card is universal in casino play.
  • Timer: If playing a poker tournament, a timer is used to count down periods in which the blinds are at certain levels. When the timer reaches 0:00, the blinds go to a higher level. A typical kitchen timer is quite adequate for all but the largest professional tournaments, which may use computer software tied to video displays throughout the venue.
  • Card protectors:: In games where all of a player's cards are facedown, some players use items like specialty chips or glass figures to place on top of their cards to protect them from being accidentally discarded.